Ready for a little LinkedIn profile magic? Did you know that LinkedIn is the #1 way that recruiters are looking for talent? How would you describe your LinkedIn profile? Would you say it stands out from the rest? Does the photograph make people want to get to know you, perhaps even work with you? Have you invested several hours reviewing each portion of your profile? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then this post is for you.
Whether you have been caught up in the recent wave of layoffs and are searching for your next adventure or are currently employed but want to put your best foot forward on LinkedIn, keep reading.
LinkedIn is one of the hottest social media platforms today for business. Having a top notch profile isn’t optional! If you want a recruiter to find you, your profile needs to stand out and catch their eye. If you work for a company and want to find talent for your organization, your own profile should be compelling in order to attract talent to you.
There are many articles out there about creating a good LinkedIn profile. When I was laid off and given the opportunity to work with an executive search firm, my coach helped me look at my profile through a clean lens. I want to pass along my learnings to you. Many of the recent rounds of layoffs excluded professional coaching services and while beneficial, they can be costly. Each week, I am donating time to helping retail leaders find their next adventure. I wish there were enough hours in the day to help everyone. But since there aren’t. this is the first thing I review with each person I coach.
This is about building your personal brand. Truth is, there aren’t any shortcuts to building a brand. You are worth the investment!
Key Components of your LinkedIn Profile
Each profile will be unique based on your experience, education and how much time you have spent nurturing and building it. Now this is a judge-free zone. If you don’t have all these aspects in your profile, don’t stress. I will review each of the components below.
- Professional Profile Photo (Headshot)
- Profile Headline
- “About” Summary
- Professional Experience
- Volunteer Experience
- Skills & Endorsements
- Recommendations from Customers, Peers & Colleagues
How to Use this Post to Update your LinkedIn Profile
The best way to use this post is set up your computer, have one window open to this post and a second window open to your LinkedIn profile. Review one section at a time. Don’t skip any sections.
Before we start, let’s review some basics. Profiles are very personal to an individual’s own experience. My recent coaching experience has shown me that many of the sections listed above haven’t been included. If you are missing a section, simply click “Add Profile Section” at the top of your profile and select the one you want. I would recommend adding only if you have relevant content to include.
Be prepared to spend a few hours on this. Compelling content inside each section is a bit more time consuming but time well spent, I promise! Recruiters are using LinkedIn to find talent. Let’s make it easy for them!
Professional Profile Photo
This is so easy and yet one of the most missed components. It is the first thing people see when they look at your profile. The photo should be a professional headshot. Expect to pay around $99. If you don’t want to spend the money to have a professional photographer take your picture, have someone you know take it and follow these simple steps:
- The picture should be professional.
- Look approachable and smile! You want to radiate warmth and a happy aura.
- This should be a headshot meaning your face should occupy 60% of the space.
- Wear your usual attire. I don’t recommend workout wear but you don’t have to be in a suit. Watch out for patterns, there camera doesn’t always like them. If you aren’t sure, take a quick picture in what you are wearing and make sure it looks good.
There are few ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind too.
- Don’t take a selfie or use filters.
- Never crop a group picture.
- Watch the background. A white background will look like a mug shot. A soft grey or oxford blue background works well or you can also blur the background so the focus is on you.
- Don’t incorporate your hobbies or pets into your photo.
Impactful Profile Headline
The headline is the second thing everyone looks at when they visit your profile. This headline should either be the role you have today or should define your expertise.
If you no longer work at your company, remove that title immediately. There is no good reason to wait until the Warn Act expires or severance runs out. if you are interested in finding a new position now, make it easy for recruiters to know that you are looking for employment. LinkedIn is using #opentowork which is a great frame to use to tell recruiters instantly that you are available.
“About” Summary in your LinkedIn Profile
There are 3 key components to the “About” portion.
- Use all CAPS to define your expertise. This should be 5-7 words max that fits on one sentence. This captures the attention of anyone reviewing your profile.
- Create 1-2 paragraphs about your skills and include what you are known for, what you have delivered and your areas of expertise.
- Add a sentence similar to “contact me for career opportunities at <include email and mobile #>. This makes it easy for a recruiter to reach you.
This section should mirror your resume (assuming your resume is up to par). There is no need to recreate your story. List the company and job and then add the description of the work you did and major accomplishments. An intro sentence and a 2-3 bullet points for each position is ideal. One of the best things you can do is grab a list of verbs off the internet and use power verbs to intro each bullet of what you accomplished.
Following companies who you are interested in working for is a great way to get on their radar. Make a list of your dream companies. Then FOLLOW each of them! Search for people who work at these companies in similar roles to what you are interested in and send them a connection request. It’s ideal to send them a note along with the request. Once they accept your request, thank them for accepting your request. Let them know you are looking for a new opportunity and you would appreciate them passing your name along to anyone they know of who is hiring! It is also a good idea to go to these companies Career sites and see if there are any interesting positions. Truth is, the more ways you connect with people and companies, the better your chances of finding a position with them.
It’s Your Turn
Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming to edit your own profile. If you follow this section by section, you will end up with a stronger profile and one step closer to helping potential employers find you. If you are struggling, reach out to me at Rachel@runninggreatstores.com. I am here to help!
Always in your Corner,